DeRay McKesson, civil rights activist and prominent member of the Black Lives Matter movement, announced that he was running for mayor of Baltimore earlier this month. Today, his campaign released its very first video ad, and if it's any indication of the tone of his campaign, we can prepare for hope, change and a whole lot of tears.
The mayoral hopeful recruited his dad Calvin McKesson to star in the spot, and in fact only appears in the last few moments of the ad himself. In the spot, the senior Mr. McKesson proudly proclaims he's a recovering addict with twenty years sober, and then goes on to explain why his son is the best person to lift up Baltimore:
“DeRay will have a very positive impact on this race because he will challenge people to stop the status quo. Politicians make promises, we don’t need promises we need action…DeRay will back up his words with actions.” Calvin says. “We have this thing, I try to show him what love is…And that’s what ya’ll don’t know about him, that’s why," he laughs, "as a Dad I be scared to say stuff, but what motivates DeRay is love, what should motivate everybody is love.”
The video ends with DeRay and his father laughing and hugging together. It is hard not to smile while watching them together.
Equally impressive is McKesson's freshly-launched website, which he announced on Twitter and is already receiving a large number of retweets and responses:
The website features another video, with citizens of varying ages and ethnic groups praising McKesson for his commitment, love and his readiness to serve the city of Baltimore. “You need somebody who is a visionary," says a local school administrator. "I think you need somebody who knows what’s happening now but has an eye to the future, and can move the city to that future. I see DeRay as somebody who can do that.”
The video ends with DeRay, a BET Honors Next in Class honoree, addressing the viewer directly. “I’m not an insider, but I am an activist, an organizer, an educator, a brother, a son and a citizen of Baltimore," he says. "Someone who knows that this city is a city of promise, and it can be more than it is today…I’m here, together we can win."
Click here to learn where McKesson stands on the issues and to make a donation to his campaign.
(Photo: Michael B. Thomas/AFP/Getty Images)